Posts Tagged ‘Region 5’

SPJ June Board Meeting Update

And Your Thoughts on the Future of SPJ Regions

Here’s a brief rundown of the SPJ board meeting on Saturday, June 27, 2020. The recording isn’t posted yet, but you can find the agenda and committee reports here. UPDATE: Here’s the link to a recording of the full meeting. And you can read SPJ President Patti Newberry’s summary at her blog.

  1. The virtual conference is moving forward for Sept. 12-13. You should have an opportunity soon to give input on what it should cover. A lot has changed since people made conference proposals last year.
  2. SPJ’s finances are currently stable because of reduced expenses and steady revenue.
  3. SPJ is hiring a full-time director of education to emphasize online learning and overhaul training programs.
  4. SPJ gave out $40,000 to help journalists in need in recent months. 
  5. The new membership database is expected to launch in November. There’s interest in having a forum with chapters/members to explain its features.

Marking six months as executive director, John Shertzer gave a presentation about establishing a strategic direction for SPJ. It was thorough and thought-provoking, and it captured from a more detached perspective what SPJ does well and what could be better. I attached some screenshots to this email. This slide distills his ideas into one possible future for SPJ, which I found compelling:

For me, one of the most interesting parts was John’s discussion of the regions and regional conferences. Members said these were some of the least valuable aspects of SPJ for them. What do you think? 

  • Do you find benefits in interacting with other chapters in your area? 
  • Could this role be better filled by interest groups (such as the SPJ Freelance Community)? 
  • Could we share planning and responsibilities by collaborating with other journalism organizations in our area? 
  • How can we do more to get students interested in SPJ and keep them as young professionals? 

As we start gathering ideas for the 2021 regional conference, this is a great time to rethink the role of the regions and the regional conferences. What would be most helpful for SPJ members? What could be more relevant and exciting? 

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Early Bird deadline EXTENDED to MARCH 8 for Region 4/5 Conference

Region 4 5 Conference Logo

March 1 is the deadline to save money with an Early Bird registration for the Region 4/5 Spring Conference April 1 and 2 in Cincinnati has been EXTENDED to MARCH 8.

The conference opens at the Kingsgate Marriott and Convention Center with a reception Friday at 5 p.m. Then, professional and student journalists are invited to a full day of training sessions – including programs on using new tools such as virtual reality and drones to help further your reporting.


With more than 12 breakout sessions, the conference focuses on four tracks:
• History in Journalism
• Tools & Techniques
• Diversity Matters
• Building on Basics

In addition to programming, the conference will feature the presentation of the prestigious Mark of Excellence Awards for both regions. Be there to help recognize the regions’ best college journalism.

To register, visit the Eventbrite site,

Early-bird registration is $75 for SPJ members, $55 for student members, $130 for non-members, and $75 for student non-members. Register by March 1 to lock in these fantastic rates. Also, be sure to check out the conference website,, to stay up-to-date on programming and speakers.

Make your reservation at Kingsgate by calling 513-487-3800 and asking for Society of Professional Journalists conference rate – only $119+tax for a king or double.

For more details, contact Region 4 Director Patti Newberry at, Cincinnati SPJ Chapter President Tom McKee at, or Region 5 Director Deborah Givens at


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